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green mountain spinnery

Woolful Podcast

Episode 41: David Ritchie, Claire Wilson, Libby Mills and Kate Salomon – Study groups, building a New England fiber mill, growth of a fiber family and Green Mountain Spinnery

November 17, 2015

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Sponsor: Ewetopia is a local yarn shop in rural Viroqua, WI, carrying a beautiful selection of yarns and fibers, including their very own line of hand dyed yarns. One of my favorite things about Ewetopia is it’s generational foundation, the shop was started by Kathryn Ashley-Wright and later her mother Lisa Ashley joined her as partner in the business. Along with Kathryn’s grandmother Gloria and her daughters Stella and Mae…you’ll sometimes find all four generations busy around the shop…what a special thing to have. In addition to the Ewetopia shop and yarn brand, Kathryn and her family have a farm in southwestern Wisconsin where they grow certified organic hay and rotationally graze their flock of 50 ewes…comprised of Corriedale, Border Leicester and Merino crosses, which contribute to their Ewetopia yarn and fiber line. If you’re in the Viroqua area or just passing through, make sure to visit them in person. You can find a selection of Ewetopia yarns and fibers, and more info on the shop and farm online at ewetopiafibershop.com. And find them on Instagram @ewetopiayarn.

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Fiber folk: To me, Green Mountain Spinnery is one of the staples of the fiber industry, and has been since founded in 1981 by David Ritchie, Libby Mills, Claire Wilson and Diana Wahle. I first learned about the spinnery through my friend Annie, who is a huge advocate of their yarns. Then all of the sudden I kept hearing about the everywhere…that’s how it goes yeah? haha. The more I learned, the more I loved. From their humble hardworking beginnings, to creating an organic yarn, their formation of a coop and their overall beautiful influence within this fiber community…I’ve met few others in this industry with such a rich history and gratitude for what wool has brought them. Today you get to hear a bit of that history and hear that richness in their stories, as David, Libby, Claire and Kate tell the Green Mountain Spinnery story. You can find Green Mountain Spinnery at spinnery.com and on Instagram @greenmtnspinnery.

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Photos by Kathy Cadigan, Green Mountain Spinnery and Megan MacDonald

tolt yarn and wool logo

Sponsor: In 2013, Anna Dianich opened Tolt Yarn and Wool. a local yarn shop in the beautiful Pacific Northwest town of Carnation, Washington. A couple weeks back we celebrated Tolt’s second anniversary, with the release of a very special book, Farm to Needle: Stories of Wool. When we pick up our needles and cast-on the first stitch, we become part of something much bigger than the project at hand. Farmers, shearers, spinners and dyers are working hard not only to produce the yarn we love, but to preserve a way of life that is at real risk of being lost. Farm to Needle invites you to join a journey; to peek behind the scenes of some of our favorite producers and gain a deeper understanding of the people, places, and animals at work. Discover Aspen Hollow Farm, Green Mountain Spinnery, Imperial Stock Ranch, Thirteen Mile Farm, YOTH, Saco River Dye House, and Twirl through patterns by Dianna Walla, Tif Fussell, Veronika Jobe, Karen Templer, Andrea Rangel, Annie Rowden and myself. This book was beautifully captured by a hardworking team, lead by Anna and Kathy Cadigan. You can find Farm to Needle at toltyarnandwool.com

And if you’ve had the privilege of visiting Tolt in person, you know how truly amazing this place is. It’s evident the heart and soul Anna and her incredible team put into creating an experience that feels like home with your fiber family. What a special place to have in this fiber community of ours. Make sure to visit Tolt in Carnation and online at toltyarnandwool.com for a very special collection of fibers, notion and books.

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Giveaway:  The winner of last week’s giveaways are, Margaret – you’ve won two skeins of Quince and Co Osprey yarn in Caspian from Cream City Yarn, and Yasmin – you’ve won Loop London’s new book, 10. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway’s are sponsored by Tolt Yarn and Wool – who’s giving away a copy of their new book, Farm to Needle and Green Mountain Spinnery – who’s giving away two skeins of their Vermont Organic worsted yarn, made from Tunis/Dorset wool. To be one of the winners of this week’s giveaways, leave a comment this blog post.

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Music by Jónsi.